Origin of Earl Grey
Earl Grey is a black tea flavoured with bergamot oil. It therefore falls under the scented teas. The black tea used for this scented tea, can be a "single origin", originating from a specific tea plantation from, for example, India or Africa. It is also possible that a blend of different types of black tea is used, for example a combination of Ceylon and Assam.
Production of Earl Grey
Black tea is rolled immediately after wilting to quickly kickstart oxidation processes. The leaves are then completely oxidised before drying, giving them their dark color and rich flavour.
A tea is flavoured or perfumed during production towards the end of processing, usually after the tea leaves have dried. One way tea is flavoured is by mixing the finished tea with flowers, herbs and spices so that the blended ingredients are visually pleasing and lightly infuse the tea leaves with their aroma and flavour. Another way that tea is flavoured is by spraying or covering the finished tea during or after the drying process with extracts, essential oils or flavourings.
Tips for making Earl Grey
Black tea can handle hot water well. On average, the water should be between 90ºC - 100ºC before it is poured over the tea leaves.
The average brewing time for black tea is between 1 and 3 minutes.
The information sheet of the tea indicates the desired water temperature and brewing time.
What many people don't know is that you can brew black tea several times. You will notice that the tea will taste slightly different every time. Some flavour notes come out even better after the second and third use!